April 24, 2013. The Rana Plaza complex, containing sweatshops, factories, and homes, collapsed in North Dhaka in Bangladesh. By the end of the body search, over 1,100 people were confirmed dead, with countless others missing or injured. To this day, it is considered the worst sweatshop disaster in history, directly the result of mismanagement, lack of safety regulations, and a careless administration.

Unfortunately, sweatshops, which are susceptible to such disasters due to their own lack of regulations, are fiercely supported by economists in the West. …

Santiago, 1980

Despite frequent attempts to refute the notion that there was ever a “Chilean miracle” brought about by free market reforms during the 70s-90s in Chile, many economists, and especially politicians/political speakers have continued to ramble about how every country in the world should embrace free markets based on it’s effects in Chile.

This is dangerous talk, though. Many doubts have been raised against the so-called Chilean “Miracle”, particularly because of it’s effects of the lives of ordinary Chileans and their society.

If we are to assume that there was a miracle, we can certainly conclude that the miracle didn’t apply…

Food Line in Minneapolis (Photo by David Joles)

Many conservatives/Republicans have it in their mind that to prevent the prevalence of welfare recipients and to incentivize working for recipients, work requirements should be implemented for welfare programs like SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, etc. Some of these programs already have work requirements depending on the physical capabilities or age of recipients. The former statement would be bad policy though.

To begin with, it would be a mistake to believe that work requirements have statistically significant effects of employment. Ladonna Pavetti demonstrated this in a 2016 study displaying the multilevel failures of work requirements. Out of 9 program samples from cities…

Image by Colin Crowley

Around 120 years ago, the British journalist Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “The White Man’s Burden”. In it, he made an urge for the American government to conquer and colonize the Philippines, on the basis that the white man held the inherent burden of developing the “uncivilized” and “barbaric” native peoples of the Philippines, as well as other countries in the Caribbean and Africa.

This poem was rather unique in it’s justification for imperialism, as it argued that white people have some sort of moral obligation to help people of poorer nations, rather than advocating for genocide or exile of…

Or, Noah Smith’s Problematic Rhetoric

Two days ago, Noah Smith posted a piece called “Against Hickelism” where he supposedly refuted Jason Hickel’s points on global poverty.

This is part of the longer debate occurring between Jason Hickel, who argues that the common narrative of poverty reduction is wrong, and others like Max Roser, Steven Pinker, whom argue that the “common narrative” of poverty reduction is mostly true. Noah Smith argues that poverty has reduced substantially, however he does not necessarily think that this was due to privatization and “free market” capitalism. …

A response to the Adam Smith Institute

The Adam Smith Institute, a right-wing neoliberal think tank, has published multiple pieces on why sweatshops are “good” and “necessary” for the improvement of the lives of the global poor. This essay is a critical reply to one of their pieces on sweatshops, titled “How Sweatshops Help the Poor” by Oliver Riley.

Riley’s defense of sweatshops here is poor and lacking in strength. It reeks of the dogmatic idea held by neoliberals that “pragmatism” is always the best option. It’s a self contradicting position at its core, as we have the ability to…

Neoliberalism against Democracy

Photo: Yuri Gripas, Getty Images

“The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.”

-Karl Marx

Neoliberal capitalism has established itself as the dominant world order. Forming itself as reactions to the failures of Keynesianism and the rise of populist and socialist movements, neoliberalism has created world systems by which trade, commerce, and transactions occur. There are not much thoughts, ideas, or propositions taken seriously outside the neoliberal global order. As a result, many have asserted the inevitability of globalization and liberal…

The “Mises Wiki” has a short section dedicated to the rate of profit. It argues that the rate of profit is a useless expression. It explains,

According to Mises, rate of profit is an absurd expression based on the false assumption that there exists a relationship between profit and capital. Profits are earned by superior foresight in adapting production to meet future shifts in consumer demand before competitors are aware of the need for such adaptation. Since profits cannot be related mathematically to superior foresight, there can be no meaningful “rate of profit.”

I find this reasoning to be rather…

Photo by Tim Johnson on Unsplash

Fascists, right-wing populists, and conservatives tend to appeal to a victimization tactic in their rhetoric. Rather than admitting that white people have inherent benefits and privileges compared to other races throughout the world, they will deny it. And oftentimes, they will attempt to place white people at the status of the victim. This rhetoric is expressed in many ways. A famous case is the “Great Replacement” theory constructed by white nationalists, arguing that there is a secret objective ordered by “the new world order” (a euphemism for Jews) to replace the white peoples in Europe with non-European blacks, Africans, and…

Some things to clear up

Around 2 years ago, LearnLiberty.org’s Howard Baetjer made a piece supposedly refuting Marxian exploitation theory. Unsurprisingly, its critiques are nothing new. He merely regurgitates the same old arguments presented by neoclassicals and free market fundamentalists in a futile attempt to debunk exploitation theory.

LearnLiberty.org has a long history of completely misunderstanding, straw-manning, and manipulating what Marxism and its principles are. It’s libertarian sister websites, such as FEE, the Mises Institute, and Reason.org follow this very same route of idiocy. It’s about time these antics are called out.

Baetjer begins by stating:

Have you ever thought…

Surafel G.

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